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Riders compete in America’s longest off-road race

The “Vegas to Reno” is held every August
Published: Sep. 8, 2020 at 1:56 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - For some people, the idea of driving from one end of our state to the other on paved roads is a daunting task, but every August there are several hundred people who accomplish that feat without the pavement.

The race is called the “Vegas to Reno,” and at 550 miles it is the longest off-road race in the U.S. It starts just south of Beatty and ends in Dayton.

Bill Hermant is the owner of Reno Cycles and Gear on Kietzke Lane, and while he says it would be nice to win, finishing it accomplishment enough.

“The finish rate is 50-60%,” he explained. “This isn’t an easy thing to do.”

This year’s race took place on August 14th. Cars start about a minute apart, and are all timed, with the winner being announced the next day.

Hermant says there are places they can get up to 95 mph on the course, and there is no “toughest” part.

“There is no such thing as the toughest stretch it’s all tough,” he remarked. “You’ll hit a silt bed and it’s so dusty you can’t see the man next to me.”

Hermant says the race will cost him $10,000 to enter with all his expenses, adding that other teams pay up to ten times that much. He estimates he would only get about $2,000 if he were to win, which begs the question, why do it?

“Why do you climb Mt. Everest?” Hermant asked. “You don’t make any money doing it. It’s one of those things you do because it’s the toughest thing to do. You get one of these off road vehicles anyone can buy and race in a hostile environment so you can say you did it.”

He says his team left Vegas just before 11 a.m. and got in to Dayton at 4 a.m., finishing in 28th place.

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